The 2012 Bastille Day Festival organized by France Education Northwest contributed to the Seattle Center’s celebration of The Next Fifty with a retrospective of the French Pavilion at the 1962 World’s Fair.
The French Government’s extensive pavilion, covering 15,000 square feet, was entitled “The toys of the Modern World”. The “toys” were illustrations of modern man’s technological advances that changed his everyday living environment, such as the telephone, automobile, television, airplane and future inventions. The French exhibit not only aimed at displaying France’s impressive scientific accomplishments, it also sought to define the social and psychological problems posed by modern times’ technological sophistication. The French exhibit was extremely provocative in questioning the threat of losing individuality and sensitivity in a world of mass communication and information. Solutions were proposed in order to ensure the fulfillment of modern man’s individual aspirations, such as a reaffirmed devotion to the arts and a bigger control over human environment.